Skip to main content

FHFA Alters GSE Policy on REO Sales

Nov 25, 2014

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to alter one of their policies relating to the sale of real estate-owned (REO) properties in their current inventory. The change will permit the two companies to sell existing REO properties to any qualified purchaser at the property’s fair-market value, as determined by the GSEs. 

Prior to today’s directive, the Enterprises required homeowners who have been through foreclosure and want to buy their home back to pay the entire amount owed on the mortgage.  This requirement similarly applied to anyone buying the home for the benefit of the previous homeowner.  Under the new policy change for existing REO properties, former homeowners who are able to repurchase their home—or a third-party able to purchase on their behalf – may do so under the fair-market value policy that already applies to other purchasers of REO properties.  

The policy change is limited to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac REO inventory of single-family homes as of Nov. 25, 2014. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have approximately 121,000 properties in their combined REO inventory. Certain property exclusions may apply and will be handled by the Enterprises on a case-by-case basis.

“This is a targeted, but important policy change that should help reduce property vacancies and stabilize home values and neighborhoods,” said FHFA Director Mel Watt. “It expands the number of potential buyers of REO properties and is consistent with the Enterprises’ practice of requiring fair-market value for those properties.”

Under existing GSE rules, former borrowers must wait a minimum of three years after a foreclosure to be eligible to receive a loan purchased or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The purchase of an REO property for the benefit of the previous owner must also still be intended for use by that owner as their principal place of residence.  

About the author
Published
Nov 25, 2014
Building A Digital Bridge Between Separate Revenue Streams

Menu cloud-based technology capitalizes on the entire borrowing cycle

Economists Less Confident Rates Will Drop Following Fed Decision

After sixth consecutive month with no change, the likelihood of cuts in 2024 feels "more out of reach."

FHFA Final Rule Released

Rule codifies equitable housing programs, GSE Plans

FDIC Announces Closure Of Republic First Bank

The Philadelphia-based lender's 32 branches will now be served by Fulton Bank

Mortgage Servicers Added To Junk-Fee Naughty List

New release from CFPB lays out areas of improvement, and concern, for mortgage servicers.

In Wake Of NAR Settlement, Dual Licensing Carries RESPA, Steering Risks

With the NAR settlement pending approval, lenders hot to hire buyers' agents ought to closely consider all the risks.